While Indiana is often referred to as a model for economic recovery, a
policy analyst for the Indiana Institute for Working Families says the
state’s books may look good because of austerity measures, but Hoosiers are
suffering as a result.
Thomas says more than a third of Indiana’s population is living near or in
alarming thing that we see right now is that increase in poverty and those
decreases in wages, well above the national average, nearly eclipsing the
entire U.S. in loss of wages and increases in poverty.”
Thomas says that
since 2000, Indiana’s poverty rate has gone up 52 percent to the
sixth-highest in the nation.
“If we include
those who are living near poverty as defined by the federal poverty
guidelines, that would be 35 percent of the state or 2.2 million Hoosiers
living in or near poverty.”
According to the
report, Hoosier employers are frustrated by how few skilled applicants there
are, even as large numbers of people apply for jobs. Thomas says job seekers
need help attaining new skills.
continues to rank near the bottom of the nation in educational attainment
levels, we can only expect employers to continue to struggle to find a
skilled work force.”
Hoosier wages have dramatically dropped since the recession.
median household income fall by 13.6 percent from $51,000 to about $44,000.
This is the second-largest decrease in the nation, and we’re only earning 85
cents on the dollar compared to the rest of the nation.”
The Institute is
urging lawmakers and the governor to fund programs to help give Hoosiers
access to better job skills by expanding financial aid for more certificate
programs, increase the minimum wage and adopt a work-sharing program.